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Powder coating / Spray painting protection


Powder coaters campaign August 2009

Inspection campaign

WorkSafe is currently conducting an inspection campaign in powder coating businesses with a view to reducing injuries in the sector.

The campaign will involve inspectors visiting powder coating businesses to identify any common safety risks and provide employers with information on how to comply with occupational safety and health requirements.

This newsletter has been developed to identify safety issues in your industry and to assist you in meeting the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations.

Hazardous substances

Hazardous substances are any chemicals or other materials that may put people at risk. They include:

  • chromic acid; and also powder coatings that contain TGIC
  • hydrofluoric acid

Material Safety Data sheets (MSDS) must be provided for each hazardous substance, identifying the ingredients, and giving health information and precautions for safe use and handling. Continual vigilance is essential.

Personal protective equipment

Control of worker exposure must be achieved by means other than use of personal protective equipment. However, when other control measures, such as engineering controls and safe work practices, do not adequately protect the worker, then personal protective equipment must be worn.

Personal protective equipment must include full protective clothing including overalls, gloves, head and eye protection and respiratory protection, selected and used in compliance with relevant Australian Standards. In particular:

  • a powered air purifying respirator should be worn, which complies with AS/NZS 1716-1994 Respiratory protective devices, and used in accordance with AS/NZS 1715-1994 Selection, use and maintenance of respiratory protective devices;
  • the respiratory protective equipment must provide head covering to avoid dust build up around the edges of the facemasks. A ventilated full-head covering may also be more comfortable in hot environment;
  • during manual spraying, the gun-hand must not be insulated from the gun. Either a cover sleeve must cowl the gun hand or the palm of an insulating glove may be cut out. Operators standing outside the booth and spraying inside a booth through an aperture must wear this type of protective equipment; and
  • anti-static footwear shuold be provided

"Source Code for practice spray painting"

Safe work practices

Safe work practices are necessary to supplement the engineering control measures in order to minimise worker exposure.

Safe work practices must, where practicable, include:

  • work practices designed to avoid the generation of dust;
  • restricting access to spray painting areas;
  • designed a safe workplace so that the spray painter is never between the object to be sprayed adn the airflow of contaminated air;
  • situating the articles to be sprayed sufficiently within the boot to avoid rebound;
  • implementing good personal hygiene practices, for example, powder coating dust should not be allowed to collect on the face, exposed body areas should be thoroughly washed and overalls should be regularly cleaned;
  • storing powder coating and waste powder in a designated area with restricted access;
  • cleaning booths and surrounding areas on a regular basis;
  • promptly cleaning-up spills of powder coatings to reduce the spread of TGIC;
  • using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter for clean-up operations and not using compressed-air or dry sweeping;
  • using a spark-proof squeege when a wet clean-up is required;
  • emptying vacuum cleaners in the booth and under exhaust ventilation;
  • taking care to avoid the generation of dust during disposal of waste powder;
  • waste powder being baked in the original box for disposal to landfill as as solid;
  • vacuuming as primary decontamination of work clothing;
  • checking regularly the cleaning and maintenance of plant and equipment, including ventilation and spray equipment and filters; and
  • proper induction training and general training of workers about the potential hazards of spraying with TGIC powder coatings and in the safe work practices necessary to minimise exposure.

"Government of Western Australia, Department of Commerce"